Cristina Sanders is an historical fiction writer from Wellington, now living in Hawke's Bay. She has a book review blog and writes about history, travel and running. She began her career in the book trade in the Gateway Children's Bookshop and some years with Collins Publishers in NZ, Hodder & Stoughton in London and back to Booksellers New Zealand, followed by a business career. In 2018 she completed the Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing at Whitireia.
In 2020 she won the Storylines Tessa Duder award for an unpulished YA manuscript, with a novel about an immigrant family in the 1870s.
Her debut novel, Jerningham, about Jerningham Wakefield and the recklessness of colonial New Zealand, was published by The Cuba Press in June 2020.
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Edward Jerningham Wakefield was the wild-child of the Wakefield family that set up the New Zealand Company to bring the first settlers to this country. His story is told through the eyes of bookkeeper Arthur Lugg, who is tasked by Colonel William Wakefield to keep tabs on his brilliant but unstable nephew.
As trouble brews between settlers, government, missionaries and Māori over land and souls and rights, Jerningham is at the heart of it, blurring the line between friendship and exploitation and spinning the hapless Lugg in his wake.
Alive with historical detail, Jerningham tells a vivid and important story of Wellington’s colonial beginnings and of a charismatic young man’s rise and inevitable fall.